ruderalis indica

Russell blue lupine ( Lupinus ‘Russell Blue’) Lupines are classics in the sunny perennial garden, though I struggle to grow them in mine due to heavy clay and acidic soil. Lupines bloom in late spring and produce tall spires of dense blooms. ‘Russell Blue’ is actually more purple than blue, despite its cultivar name. For those seeking plants with purple flowers, it’s a variety well worth growing.

Long-blooming purple perennials such as lupines add so much to the garden. Clustered bellflower ( Campanula glomerata ) The dark purple flowers of clustered bellflower stop garden visitors in their tracks. Thriving in both full and partial sun, bellflower is hardy down to -40 degrees F. A favorite of pollinators, clustered bellflower is a purple flowering perennial that blooms all summer, as long as you keep the plant deadheaded. Reported to be deer resistant, the blooms of bellflower are grouped into balls atop the flower stems. Clustered bellflower adds a spark of color to the garden in mid summer. Blazing star ( Liatris spicata ) A North American native purple perennial, blazing stars are relished by butterflies and bees. Their 12-inch-tall bloom spikes emerge from thin, strap-like leaves each summer. The blooms open in succession down the stem, giving this plant a long bloom time.

Preferring full sun conditions, blazing star plants grow from a bulb-like structure called a corm. They’re easy to plant, deer-resistant perennials with purple blooms that also make great cut flowers, and they are hardy to -40 degrees F. Blazing star blooms are absolutely adored by pollinators. Salvia ( Salvia nemorosa ) Another purple flowering perennial that blooms all summer, salvia thrives in hot, sunny, and dry garden beds. The skinny spikes of flowers have square stems, indicating that this plant is a member of the mint family. Keep the plant deadheaded, and you’re rewarded with blooms for months on end. Topping out at 18 inches, this deer-resistant purple flower deserves a place in every garden. There are many purple-flowered varieties worth growing, including ‘Cardonna’ and ‘Amethyst’. The slender bloom spikes of perennial salvia blend well with other garden plants. Anise hyssop ( Agastache foeniculum ‘Blue Fortune’) If pollinator-friendly purple perennial flowers are on your must-have list, than write down the name anise hyssop. ‘Blue Fortune’ produces chubby spikes of light purple blooms atop licorice-scented foliage. Adored by bees and butterflies, but loathed by deer, anise hyssop is in non-stop bloom for months. Pinch the plant back by a third in late May, and you’ll have twice as many blooms! Full sun conditions are best for this plant, but it can also tolerate light shade. There are many deer-resistant perennials with purple blooms, but the only one with licorice-scented foliage is the anise hyssop in the lower left corner of this garden. Mistflower ( Conoclinium coelestinum ) Another North American native plant with purple flowers, mistflower reminds many gardeners of common annual ageratum. The powder puff-like blooms appear in clusters, just like ageratum, but this late-blooming purple flower doesn’t produce its blooms until very late in the season. Also unlike ageratum, mistflower is a perennial that’s fully hardy down to -20 degrees F. Plant it in full sun to partial shade, and your late-season garden will be filled with pale purple, fuzzy blooms on 1-foot-tall stems. It’s moderately resistant to deer, and spreads quite prolifically (occasionally to the point of being obnoxious). The fuzzy blooms of mistflower look a lot like annual ageratum, but this is a long-lived native perennial. Spike speedwell ( Veronica spicata ) Veronica is an old-fashioned, deer-resistant, purple flowering perennial that gardeners have loved for generations. Unfortunately, some varieties are prone to powdery mildew, so choose resistant varieties, such as ‘Royal Candles’. Reaching about 12 inches in height, spike speedwell has pointy spires of densely packed purple flowers that open from the bottom up. When planted in full sun the plant does not need to be staked and survives winters down to -40 degrees F. Spike speedwell is an long-time favorite of gardeners everywhere. Pikes Peak beardstongue ( Penstemon x mexicali ‘Pikes Peak Purple’) Yet another purple perennial for the bees, ‘Pikes Peak Purple’ beardstongue has it all.

Gorgeous looks, prolific dark purple flowers, and ease of care separate this plant from the rest. Winter hardy to -20 degrees F, Pikes Peak Purple’s tubular blooms are shaped like little trumpets. Choose a full sun site with well-drained soil, and this plant thrives. Give Pikes Peak Penstemon well-drained soil and full sun, and it’s as happy as can be. Wood phlox ( Phlox divaricata ) Wood phlox is a shade-loving, purple perennial that produces early-season blooms.

Often finished blooming right along with the tulips, this native of the woodlands of eastern North America, is nothing short of lovely. The pale purple blooms bear five petals each, and they are borne in clusters atop 6-inch-tall, wiry stems. In bloom for just a few short weeks each spring, wood phlox is hardy to -40 degrees F. Wood phlox is a shade lover with lots to offer, including it’s early-season blooms.


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